I Voted With (the other) Half of the Country

I don’t shy away from much… but I was hesitant to write, much less attach my name to, this article. After years of being trained and tested by the army to fight against the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and others, I found myself fearing the backlash from my peers more so than any real threat I ever faced – so much so that even after agreeing to write about an alternative view to this election, I nearly submitted this anonymously. Such is the life of a conservative on an Ivy League campus.

But, right or wrong, I often associate anonymity with cowardice, a label which perhaps frightens me more. So, with that:

I voted for Trump.

Most here have asked (to put it kindly) “Why?”

I realize that what follows may look like a generic laundry list that lacks evidence or analysis, but let’s be real: I lack the space to fully explain my views, and you’ve already made up your mind. (The fact that you’re still reading at this point makes me believe that 1) you voted the same way, 2) we are – or at least were – friends, or 3) you’re my mother, who is an absolute saint. Love you, Mom!) But, if you do want to understand my or much of middle America’s point of view, I’m happy to talk and explain any of the following.

I voted for someone who I believe will:

  • place America’s interests first, both internationally and within our borders
  • uphold our Constitution and enforce our rule of law
  • rebuild our military so that we are fully ready to face any threat in the world
  • disrupt an entrenched and self-serving establishment in Washington
  • provide the best chance at strengthening our economy

I voted against someone who:

  • changes her stance whenever politically convenient
  • has vowed to put the key industry of my state of West Virginia out of business
  • has endorsed and enacted policies that have helped spread terrorism
  • has paid lip service to women’s and minority rights while acting against them
  • has long been a part of an establishment out of touch with much of the country
  • I would not trust as the Commander-in-Chief of my sisters, brother, cousins, and countless friends
  • failed to act appropriately during, and failed to take responsibility after, a moment of crisis, and then lied to our country and to the families of Service Members slain on her watch to cover her missteps
  • believes she is above the law

Though the great social issues that face our time may be at the front of many of our classmates’ minds at the moment, I do not believe that this election was a referendum against any of them. I believe that, while in the voting booth, much of America was focused on their day-to-day lives, and voted against a party who had not improved them in the way they had expected. I believe that this was a general vote against a corrupt and self-serving candidate who represented that party, and a vote for a fresh Washington outsider who, despite his many flaws, may just be able to bring prosperity to those who feel forgotten by their elected officials.

Over the next four years I am confident that I will be both pleased and disappointed with the candidate for whom I voted. I am also confident that this piece will lead to both ridicule and meaningful dialogue, though I pray for more of the latter. Most importantly, however, is that regardless of who is President, I am confident that this Nation of ours will remain the single greatest force for good that this world has ever seen, and that I am happy, proud, and blessed to have served her and call her home.